SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has officially confirmed the purging of its defense chief two months after Seoul’s spy service said he had been executed for disloyalty to leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean official said Monday.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told lawmakers in May that People’s Armed Forces Minister Hyon Yong Chol was killed by anti-aircraft gunfire for talking back to Kim, complaining about his policies and sleeping during a meeting.
The North’s state media has since not mentioned Hyon or his disappearance. But over the weekend, the country’s official Korean Central News Agency named army general Pak Yong Sik as the armed forces minister in a dispatch about a meeting with a Lao military delegation.
South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-Hee told reporters Monday that this confirmed Hyon’s replacement and purging.